A kitchen remodel can be quite the undertaking. You may only be updating a few things or taking on the entire room, floor to ceiling. Either way, you’ll agree it’s a time investment. But it can also be a colossal money investment, especially if you don’t plan before you start knocking down walls. Budgeting in general is not easy, and remodels have a way of running over your apportioned amount. But with some careful planning, you can avoid the dilemma of a runaway budget. Here are some things to help you keep things under control:
How Much To Spend on Your Remodel
First, you need to know how much you have to spend on the remodel. You can find a helpful budget worksheet on The National Association of the Remodeling Industry website. Ask yourself: How long do I plan to live in the house? What debts do I have? What is my gross monthly income? These things will largely determine what you put into your remodel. Having the overall number you have to work with will help you move onto what you can reasonably and realistically remodel.
Where to Spend Your Budget
What means the most to you? Granite countertops? Stainless steel appliances? Focus on the priority and compromise or scale back on the things that are of lesser importance. Think about the things that are more permanent (cabinets and tile) that you won’t be replacing soon, if ever. It may be worth investing a little more in those things.
Allocate about one-third of your budget for labor costs. Of course, you may be able to save in this department by enlisting the skills of family and friends. Even if it’s just the demolition phase (removing old countertops, for instance), you might be able to save money to put towards other features.
Always leave a financial pillow. Expect the unexpected. Especially with older homes, problems may arise during demolition or you may have to make changes in what you plan to buy.
These are just a few simple things to keep in mind before you begin the renovations. A little careful planning will go a long way toward a smoother kitchen remodel and also make those unexpected surprises a little less ugly than they might be otherwise.